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UNEP issues environmental warning to Afghanistan

Nairobi (AP) - Today Klaus Töpfer Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) issued a high radon warning to all Afghani residents.

"We issue this warning with the highest concern for the future health of the people of Afghanistan," said Director Töpfer.

Töpfer went on to explain UNEP had just concluded an environmental study of Afghanistan and the results of that study indicate that there are high levels of radon gas in some areas of the country.

"Our main concern is for anyone living in a confined area that traps the radon gas. It has come to our attention that some residents of Afghanistan have begun living in caves. This could be very dangerous. An area like a cave that has been enclosed and not properly ventilated poses a high radon risk to anyone inhabiting it." Töpfer went on to say, "We highly encourage anyone living in such an area to vacate it immediately. The longer one stays in such an area the more their health is at risk."

Töpfer conclude his remarks by saying, "Our main concern is for the future health and welfare of the Afghani people. We hope they heed these warnings as radon gas is a very serious health threat."

UNEP plans to make humanitarian airdrops of radon test and information kits to the areas of highest risk.

When asked if there was any connection between this report and the current events in Afghanistan Töpfer replied, "No, we at UNEP are on our own time schedule and have our own priorities."



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